Olympic gold medals are made of gold.
Don’t Believe That!
At the ancient Olympic Games in Greece, winners received a wreath made of olive leaves. Medals were first awarded at the 1896 summer Olympics – silver for first place and bronze for second. At the 1904, 1908 and 1912 Olympics, lucky winners received solid gold medals (though smaller than those awarded today).
Since 1912, gold medals are no longer made of gold. They are now mostly silver (92.5%) but are required to contain at least six grams of actual gold (amounting to only about 1% of the total weight). Silver medals are actually made of (mostly) silver, while bronze medals are primarily copper.
Bonus Fact: The scrap-metal value of an Olympic gold medal is about $500. The highest price ever paid by a collector, for Jesse Owens’ 1936 award, was $1.47 million.